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4.3 Examples of institutional guidance/exemplars 

It is possibly a reflection of the bottom-up growth of social media use in universities that, whilst there might be a lack of clarity about strategy and considerable diversity in policy, there are many excellent examples of practical guidance.

  • The University of Kent has a very useful website with contextualised information for staff and students; it is notable that Kent appears to have been an early adopter of these channels[1].
  • The University of Cumbria social media website also has contextualised information for staff and students.
  • Queen's University Belfast is an example where Information Services is the source of this information; it has an attractive website bringing together social media policies with other acceptable use policies.
  • The University of Southampton brings together advice on using social media, managing digital identity, esafety and using social tools for study and to improve employability in a digital literacies toolkit for students.
  • The University of Oxford runs a Social Media Service out of its IT department to support staff in using social media for all aspects of university business.
  • Robert Gordon University won a gold award in the 2013 HEIST awards for education marketing for its RightClick campaign aimed at promoting responsible social networking.

There are also some very good examples of guidance for using particular tools:

  • The LSE Twitter guide is widely used and has a strong focus on its use in learning and teaching.
  • The University of Leicester has produced a Twitter guide with a much more corporate focus.

The Open University has opted to develop position papers on certain tools that combine review of and guidance on current activity with thoughts about future direction.

[1] Kelly (2008) reports that: “On 7th November 2007 Facebook announced that organisations could create pages on Facebook, which had previously been restricted to individuals. Two days later a blog post gave details of institutional presence on Facebook by the early adopters in the UK HE sector. These were, in alphabetical order, Aston, Cardiff, Kent and the University of Central Lancashire.”

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